Clutching At Straws

I’ve been listening to British radio station Xfm online quite a bit lately. In addition to some great music, they feature some of the most bizarre ads I’ve ever heard, pitching dating sites for people in uniform (or people who like people in uniform) and PSAs telling you to defrost your freezer (which kick off with “HELLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! THIS IS YOUR FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZER SPEAKING!) But perhaps the most amusing are a set of ads from BT prompting people to use their landlines for “important” calls, or conversations “worth having.”

Typically they invoke a scenario in which somebody makes a call from a noisy location (pub, supermarket, etc.), then the person they’re calling gets annoyed and says to call back later, then they call from a landline at home and everything is super-awesome because it’s quiet and the calls are clear. I’ve seen some ads in the past from landline operators taking shots at VoIP call quality, but not mobile calls — perhaps because many of them here also own mobile networks. Maybe this is BT’s way of expressing regret for dumping BT Cellnet several years ago.

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